Dear Friends,

The Holy See announced the Season of Creation that began on September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. Individuals and communities are invited to participate through prayer, sustainability projects, and advocacy. Farmers, both in the U.S. and around the world, play a very significant role in caring for creation.

At the heart of a sound vision of agriculture lies the theology of creation - the theology of the earth as a gift given by a loving Creator. The land is not a blank slate, a meaningless void, merely waiting for the human being to impose his or her design upon it. Rather, the entire order of creation is permeated by God’s loving design. Agricultural life unfolds within God’s plan. In particular, the farmer who attends to the soil enters into a relationship with God, an order of creation that is already intelligently ordered by Him. The Creator’s wisdom is the farmer’s norm. One ignores the order of reality at the risk of your own peril, as the farmer’s practical wisdom must submit to the divine plan that lies hidden in the order of things.

During this Season of Creation, let us remember to pray for all men and women involved in agricultural production, that each one exercise a prudential stewardship “to cultivate and keep the earth” in such ways that future generations will inherit an even richer land than what was entrusted to them. We also can support our local farmers by going to farmer’s markets; asking our local grocers to carry more local products; asking our parishes and churches to purchase locally grown foods when hosting church dinners or events; and highlighting farm families that grow the food. 

For more information and ideas about caring for creation, please see CRL’s website at catholicrurallife.org.

Many blessings,
James Ennis
Executive Director
National Suicide Awareness Month Spotlight
This month is National Suicide Awareness Month. The Minnesota Suicide Prevention Conference is a FREE event that brings together Rural Faith Leaders is a great opportunity for rural faith leaders to discuss, learn, and share suicide prevention information and resources.

This conference focuses on helping faith communities position themselves to be informed communities of hope, healing, and support. Attendees can expect to increase their understanding about suicide and the role they can play in prevention, receive high quality information and resources to help their communities prevent suicide as well as how to provide care and support to those affected by suicide to promote healing and prevention.

This FREE event will take place
  • September 27, 2022, at 8:30 am to 4 pm at Evangelical Free Church Bemidji, MN 
  • September 29, 2022, at 8:30 am to 4 pm at Mankato Event Center Mankato, MN

Those who should consider attending include:
  • Rural Clergy, Spiritual and Faith Leaders
  • Chaplains, Elders, Deacons, Sisters
  •  Youth Pastors, Parish Nurses
  • Church Board Members, Church Staff
  • Congregational Suicide Prevention Advocates. 

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!
The Bemidji conference
September 27, 2022
Contact Stephanie Downey at stephanie.downey@state.mn.us or
218-308-2148 with any questions.
The Mankato conference
September 29, 2022
Contact Melissa Dau at melissa.dau@state.mn.us or
507-344-2747 with any questions.
Victoria Texas 
Catholic Rural Life (CRL) Victoria was officially formed in the Diocese of Victoria on Friday, June 22, 2018, and is the first chapter that was established in the State of Texas. Father Stephen Vacek is the Director and Bishop Brendan Cahill appointed Deacon Larry Hoelsher, as Chairperson. Bishop Cahill was ordained as the third Bishop of Victoria June 29, 2015. Since becoming the Bishop of Victoria, he has served as a Member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ (USCCB).  He is a member of the Communities of Faith in Victoria with other faith leaders and has been an active supporter of the Gulf Bend Center Coalition for Mental Health.

Sherry Kainer, a member of CRL Victoria has been instrumental in coordinating local celebrations and masses for the Diocese of Victoria. Every year, the Victoria chapter kicks off the harvest season with the “Blessing of the Seed” special mass, in January. This is the first blessing of the seed service for all CRL chapters due to the unique nature of Texas’ growing seasons. Last January, in Ganado, Bishop Cahill blessed the sample seed and social for the rural Diocese of Victoria. Bishop Cahill shared nature teach us about God in many ways that it is “fitting and appropriate” to celebrate rural life masses. 

Coming up in November, the Diocese of Victoria, including the CRL chapter, will celebrate a Harvest Mass. In November 2021, members from the diocese gathered for the CRL Harvest Mass at Whistling Duck Vineyards and Winery in Weimar, Texas. The mass gave thanks for everything produced from the world that God gave his people to till and protect. Bishop Cahill celebrated the mass, sharing opening remarks that affirmed the nobility of the occupation of farming and the obligation to be good stewards of God’s bounty. 

The Diocese of Victoria and CRL chapter also celebrate the feast of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers, in May. St. Isidore was born in Madrid, Spain and was employed as a laborer on a farm outside the city. Many miracles occurred during his life in the fields and after his holy death. St. Isidore was canonized in 1622 and proclaimed the patron of the National Rural Conference in the United States in 1947. 

A Return to the Land: Art Befort 
When it came time for Art Befort to retire from his aviation career a little over 10 years ago, he and his wife, Linda, realized they didn’t have a plan as to what to do next. 

So, the couple thought of the farmland they had purchased near Art’s hometown of Lebanon, Kansas, and decided to make the move from Dallas, Texas, to northern Kansas - to farm. 

“I remember my wife wasn’t all that excited about coming back and doing that, but she said, ‘I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I did it,’” recalled Befort, 73, who lives in Smith Center, Kansas, located about 15 minutes from the farm. “It wasn’t something that for 45 years we said, ‘When we retire, we’re going to go back to Smith County and farm.’ As our life progressed, and when we were ready to retire from our professions, something just led us that way.”
September 25th: Mary, Stella Maris – Patron for those at sea
September 25th is the feast day of Our Lady Mary, Stella Maris, the patron saint for those at sea. “Our Lady, Star of the Sea” is the ancient title for the Virgin Mary and “Stella Maris” is the Latin translation for Star of the Sea. The Mass, each year in September, celebrates Mary, Stella Maris to give thanks and pray for those at sea and their contributions to our world. 
Suicide Prevents Conference for Rural Faith Leaders 
Calling all Minnesota Rural Faith Leaders to a FREE suicide prevention event.

  • September 27, 2022, 8:30 am to 4 pm at Evangelical Free Church Bemidji, MN 
  • September 29, 2022, 8:30 am to 4 pm at Mankato Event Center Mankato, MN
2115 Summit Avenue
UST Mail Number 4080
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 444-8714